Monday, July 15, 2024

Middle Grade Review: Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara are twins. They just moved and are now starting middle school in a new place. Both are anxious and worried about making new friends. It takes a while for them to navigate the waters. As they start having different friends for the first time in their lives, they start to form their own identities. 
My Thoughts: Confession: I don't really know who Tegan and Sara are IRL, but I do love twin stories (Thank you Sweet Valley High). But this made me do a little research on the sisters and wow. I loved how they were growing into their own identities - even if that meant sometimes growing apart. I did have trouble telling the twins apart - but that's more of a me problem. However, I was glad when one cut her hair shorter.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A great graphic novel for your school and public library's collection.  

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Watch That, Read This (6)

It's been a minute since I did one of these posts.

But I watched a few Halmark movies (their passport of love series) recently and they reminded me of books. 

So here goes:

This book is set in Italy, but it's SO good!


One YA and one Adult

Not just a romance
This one has a little bit of adventure mixed with the romance

All the ice cream!


Friday, July 12, 2024

Review: There's a Mountain in this Book


What do you know about mountains? I definitely learned about mountains and their environments. 

The illustrations in this book are soft and charming. Information about animals, how mountains are formed, and the different environments of a mountain the higher it grows. There's a glossary at the end of this book about mountain terms. 

This wonderful book makes a great gift and is perfect for the summer reading theme

* This isn't a book for libraries as there are flaps that showcase more information.
** This book was sent for review

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Cozy Review: Smoking Bun


* Books 18 in the Bakeshop Mystery series *

Ramiro's family is visiting Jules and company after the holidays. They are busy planning all sorts of outings. But one of those outings ends in murder. 

And one of the main suspect's is Andy's friend. He asks Jules for her help in solving the murder. She can't turn him down. 
My Thoughts: Although I love a good Christmas book, I enjoyed the fact that this book took place after Christmas and included New Year. I love this series - for the mouth-watering food and the characters. I enjoyed reading more about Ramiro's family - especially the moments between his mom and Jules. I liked the winter traditions in Ashland. It would be a fun place to spend a week! It's always fun to visit Torte and I can't wait to read what's coming next for Jules and her family. 

* Now I'm finally caught up and ready for the next book which comes out in August! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Picture Book Review: Lolo's Sari-Sari Store

One little girl loves helping her grandfather out in his store in the Philippines during the summers. She loves the community around them. Lolo has something for everyone and has a pulse on the community. He knows how to listen. But this summer is different and she is missing that sense of community. How can she help?

This a charming story with bright colors shares that community is all around us if we just stop to look. People always need help and kindness. What have you done today to spread kindness?

* Book sent for review

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: That July 9th

 This week's topic is a freebie. As it's July 9th, I thought it would be a good time to explore Taylor Swift Lyrics. Here are some songs that would make good books or scenes in books

* Startlight
* No Body, No Crime
* Begin Again
* Right Where you Left Me
* Long Story Short
* Last Great American Dynasty
* Mad Woman
* Cruel Summer
* Cornelia Street
* Now that We Don't Talk

Which song would you like to see in a book?

Monday, July 8, 2024

Middle Grade Review: Princess Protection Program

Sleeping Beauty awakens when the prince kisses her, but she's not thrilled about the kiss. She leaps up and runs off. She instantly gets transported to a boarding school for Princesses. There, they are safe from their stories.

Some of the fairy tales have horrible stories. This school attempts to keep all the princesses safe. The first night she arrives, she notices two girls sneak out of the school. She follows them to a pizza shop. There Rosamund becomes friends with Sienna and Rana.

Breaking the rules has consequences, Sienna gets sucked back into her story. Rosamund has so many questions. No one wants to answer her questions, but she notices that something strange is going on.  Can she figure out what's going?

My Thoughts: This took me a little bit to get into this book - but once I did, I was hooked. I loved seeing all the Princesses. This is a great feminist story. I loved the big question of the book: can someone change their story. Some fun moments: pizza is magical and unicorns are entertaining. I loved the moments of sisterhood and friendship. Of course, cleaning is the worst. This is the start of a new series - I'm looking forward to the next book! 

Cover thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: This is such a fun book and will be easy to give readers.  

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Review: Pizza for Pia

It's meal time and Pia's family is making pizza. They think she loves pizza.
But she doesn't.

What does she love instead?

This is a funny book about cooking together and meal-time. It's a great book to talk about pizza toppings. Everyone is happy.

What's your favorite pizza topping? 
Mine changes often but I make a white pizza with ham and mushroom. 

* books sent for review

Friday, July 5, 2024

Reivew: Miss Morgan's Book Brigade


Jessie Carson takes a break from her micromanaging boss who is overly critical and NYPL. She's hired as a librarian for the American Committee for Devastated France. WWI is still going on; Jessie thinks she can help. Her eyes are opened when she sees the French countryside. 

The library needs to be rebuilt, but Jessie isn't about to let that stop her. She knows the power of books and stories. Right away she bonds with the other CARDS - even though most of them are donating their time. Jessie isn't a debutant, but she fits right in.

People need shelter, food, and most importantly hope. The CARDS drop by for social visits and to distribute food. Jessie tags along and showcases books. Soon she starts storytime out in the community. Her story is lost to history until one library worker finds her name in the archives at NYPL. Wendy Peterson researches the CARDS and Jessie. She wants to share the story of these amazing and brave women. 
My Thoughts: This book hooked me from the beginning. I enjoyed the dual perspectives from Jessie and Wendy. I love how Wendy found Jessie's story and was determined to share it. I'm so impressed by these women - they helped so many people. I love how they persisted with the different villagers. Those poor people went through so much - the war, the loss, the grief, and trying to pick the pieces back up. I loved the relationships in this book. I loved the moments of research and time inside the library. This was such an inspiring read! 

Cover Thoughts: Well done
Library Recommendation: This book is sure to be a book discussion book. A must have book for library collections. 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Movie Review: Butterfly in the Sky

Butterfly in the Sky is a documentary about Reading Rainbow.
Was this something you watched as a kid?

My Thoughts: I watched this as a kid - the theme song gets stuck in my brain.
But I don't remember too much about it. 
So, I was excited to see this documentary, and it was everything I wanted it to be.
I did tear up a little at the end.

I had no idea that this program lasted for 26 seasons.

I loved how they used kids with created book reviews - and from all backgrounds.
They all shared a love of reading
And of course, there was some celebrity narrators who helped with the publicity for the show
I loved the passion behind the show - you could that everyone really believed in this project.
I loved seeing behind the scenes moments - like the bat cave (I wouldn't go in there either)
The fashion was fun to watch.

Also Loved that this featured Jason Reynolds. 

I have half a mind to go back and re-watch all the episodes.

Here the wonderful LeVar Burton

* On Netflix

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Picture Book Review: Sandcastles are Forever

Cora and Shelley live on the beach. They love making sandcastles together. They get to create them every day since they wash away at night. But Shelley is moving and Cora is upset! Cora and her mom have a conversation that makes Cora feel a little bit better. 
This is great summer story about friendship and communication. I love how Cora's mom related friendship to building sandcastles. The ending is sweet. 

* Book sent for review

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers

This week's topic is all about book covers - and favorite colors. 

 I do love a bright pink cover:

Any of these covers catch your eye?

Monday, July 1, 2024

Graphic Novel Review: Spy Camp

* Book 2 in the Spy School series * 

After a wild first few months at school, Ben is looking forward to a normal summer.  He's surprised to learn that spies don't get the summer off. Instead, he's headed to summer camp to learn survival skills.

But SPYDER isn't done with him. They infiltrate the camp and leave him a message. This sets off a chain of events that leads Ben into danger. Luckily, he has Erica to help him.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this graphic novel adaptation of Spy Camp. This is such a fun series - lots of action, danger, and funny moments. I love how Ben stumbles into everything. The characters surprised me in this one.  Looking forward to more in this series. This book is perfect for this year's summer reading theme.

Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: A must have series for your school and public library

Saturday, June 29, 2024

TV Season Review: Bridgerton Season



Having read the books 10+ years ago, I don't remember most of the details, but I LOVED them. 

I do think the show captures those feelings!

Things I Loved:
The moments between Penelope and her mother
The final ball  
Release the Bugs!
Eloise and Pen making up
Dowager Bridgerton and Lady Danbury
Francesca and John
Penelope and Madame Delacroix 
Benedict and Eloise moments - especially on the swings
the fight over the macarons 

Things I Wished:
That Colin wasn't so annoying over Lady Whistledown discovery and that he asked Penelope to give it up
More Polin scenes (less angry scenes)
I wished we saw more of Colin falling in Love
More scenes between Penelope and the Bridgertons
The mentioned why Daphne wasn't at either wedding
Kate and Antony's trip to India seemed strange

I didn't mind how Lady Whistledown ended - because I feel that Penelope will still be writing.  And that will be shown in the next series.

Overall, I really enjoyed the show. I hated that they split up the season. It's annoying.
I'm also not crazy about waiting 2 years for the next season. It's only 8 episodes.